One of the world's largest banks, Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (BNY Mellon), is entering the cryptocurrency space as a growing number of Wall Street institutions signals its interest in Bitcoin.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the firm said on Thursday that it will custody bitcoin and other digital assets for its clients in the future. In a statement, Roman Regelman, CEO of the firm's asset-servicing and digital technologies businesses, said that "Digital assets are becoming part of the mainstream."
What makes BNY Mellon's offering different from those of its competitors is that the bank's cryptocurrency infrastructure will act on the same rails as the bank's infrastructure for traditional holdings. Todd Gibbons, the overarching chief executive of the bank, commented on this key differentiation:
We have seen a surge in interest and demand from clients, and it is only natural that we bring our legacy of trust and innovation to be a first-mover in bridging the gap between traditional and digital assets.
This "bridging the gap" may reduce regulatory and legal concerns around institutional and retail holdings of cryptocurrencies, according to The Journal.
BNY Mellon's decision to embrace Bitcoin and other digital assets comes as Wall Street has widely begun entering the space.
In 2018, multi-trillion dollar investment manager Fidelity Investments revealed a custody offering, which began to roll out in full in 2019 and 2020.
More recently, hedge fund managers and corporate treasurers have started sharing their perspective of Bitcoin as a viable investment in the current macroeconomic environment.
Just this past Monday, Tesla was revealed to have added a $1.5 billion Bitcoin position to its balance sheet because it wants to diversify away from the large amount of cash that it owns.